Envoys side with CIPEV

October 17, 2008 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, October 17 – Two foreign missions have lauded the decision by the Commission of Inquiry (CIPEV) into Post Election Violence on not to name people implicated in post-election violence.

American ambassador Michael Ranneberger and Walter Lindner from Germany told Capital News on Friday that the move was wise and added that the proposed formation of a Special Tribunal would allow for due process in establishing the truth.

 “After all, the Waki Commission did not have judicial authority to prosecute people and in the Kenyan system as in the American and German systems, people are innocent until proven guilty,” the American envoy pointed out.

On his part, Mr Lindner said: “Keeping the names out of public sight would give the witnesses confidence when called upon to give evidence at the tribunal.”

He further stressed the need to hold perpetrators to account to deter others from making similar mistakes.   The two envoys also called for the full implementation of the report’s recommendations, which Mr Ranneberger said would ensure that such anarchy does not recur.

“It is ultimately up to the coalition government and the Kenyan people to decide whether they should implement the recommendations but in my view, these are serious recommendations that require full considerations,” Mr Lindner emphasised.

According to the CIPEV report, the Special Tribunal for Kenya is to be set up as a court that will sit within the territorial boundaries of Kenya and seek accountability against persons bearing the greatest responsibility for crimes, particularly against humanity, relating to the 2007 General Elections.

The Special Tribunal, the report continues, shall achieve this through the investigation, prosecution and adjudication of such crimes.

“It shall apply Kenyan law and also the International Crimes Bill, and shall have Kenyan and international judges, as well as Kenyan and international staff,” the report said in part.

It recommended that all persons holding public office and public servants charged with criminal offences related to post-election violence will be suspended from duty until the matter is fully adjudicated.

“Upon conviction of any person charged with post-election violence offences of any nature, such persons shall be barred from holding any public office or contesting any electoral position,” Justice Waki said when handing over the report on Wednesday.



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